Updated February 21, 2020
A summary judgment is a decision made based on statements and evidence without going to trial. It’s a final decision by a judge and is designed to resolve a lawsuit before going to court. One party in a case is entitled to judgment by the law, and summary judgment is used in cases where there’s no dispute about the facts.
Summary judgment is granted when there are no other facts to be tried. All of the necessary statements and evidence are already in front of the judge, and there’s no way to obtain more information.
Summary judgment is granted when the facts can be decided upon without needing to go to trial, where the opposing party would lose due to a lack of evidence. If it’s not clear that there is no more evidence, then summary judgment must be denied.
Either one of the parties in a case can move toward summary judgment, whether they’re the defendant or the plaintiff (although in personal injury cases, the defendant is more likely to move). All that matters is the evidence that is presented.
If the defendant moves to summary judgment, the burden of proof moves from the plaintiff to the defendant. Rather than the plaintiff proving that they were injured, the defendant must prove that the plaintiff can’t obtain evidence at all.
Any evidence that can be used in a courtroom trial can also be used in summary judgment. For example:
A personal injury attorney will be able to help you figure out what you need for your case.
The summary judgment process has, in general, five steps:
The case will most likely end up resolved in the moving party’s favor if the other party doesn’t respond or the response is insufficient.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer from Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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